'Matt' still good enough to lead home 600 rivals
A week after his participation in his second Irish Derby final, Ballymac Matt returns to Shelbourne Park this evening for the opening round of the Mulvaney Bookmakers Family Memorial 600.
Liam Dowling's dog failed to get in a serious blow in last weekend's final but it can be a different story this evening over what is arguably the great dog's best distance. Ironically, Ballymac Matt won last year's Gain 600 at Shelbourne and in tonight's fourth heat he comes up against the 2016 Gain 600 winner Ballyhooly Henry. These are two titans over this trip and it could be a battle royal but Matt gets the vote to edge out Henry.
The Mulvaney Stake is a cracking competition and the five heats provide excellent racing this evening. Another high point will be the meeting of Farloe Joey and Boylesports Duke in Heat 2. The Duke has been largely disappointing since a terrific start to his career but he excelled since being moved up in distance and Dolores Ruth's dog can make it three wins on the trot.
Owen McKenna trains Farloe Joey and he has another potential stake winner in Water Fern which has been in brilliant form for the past two weeks. His early pace makes him a serious performer over this trip and he will need to be at his sharpest to dispose of Slippery Louise in Heat 5.
Other suggested bets in the Mulvaney heats are two Graham Holland-trained runners, Hovex Blaze in the first heat and Skywalker Rossa in Heat 3.
It is an excellent card at Shelbourne and there will be huge interest in the running of the Sandra Guilfoyle and John Kennedy-owned Good News in the final of the featured National Unraced Sales Stake.
Good News was the medium of a failed €43,000 bid at the Unraced Sales and has looked all over a potential champion in his two runs to date. He is drawn in trap six for the third week on the trot and looks set to capture the prize of €10,000 at the expense of Jumeirah Bran.